There are many trademarks of the college experience. There are all-you-can-eat dining halls, house parties, football games, and lots of new friends. On the flip side, college also means four years of little sleep, being indecisive about your major, and building up student debt, too.The “broke college student” joke seems hackneyed, but there’s some honest truth to it! From tuition to textbooks, there are so many expenses associated with going to college.
So how do students cope with the financial stress? If there’s one thing college students excel at, it’s having fun. Keep the balance between school and play with our list of fun things to do in Tallahassee on a student budget.
Attend the free Downtown GetDown Concert Series.
The Downtown GetDown concert series is always a fall favorite! Events are typically on Friday nights before FSU home football games. Downtown GetDown is free and open to the public. The events include live music, food trucks, local arts and crafts vendors, and craft beer and wine available for purchase. All the proceeds from alcohol sales are donated to charity. The events typically take place downtown on Adams Street and College Avenue from 6–10 p.m. While you’re downtown be sure to check out Andrew’s Capital Grill & Bar!
Check Facebook for the most up-to-date schedule. New lineups are posted every year!
Watch a free movie at the Student Life Cinema.
Movies are free for FSU students with a valid FSU ID at the Student Life Cinema. For non-students, the cost is $5 for general admission and $3 for FSU faculty/staff and Tallahassee Film Society members.
The movies are selected by all-student committees and are played five to six nights a week. Movies include everything from the most recent releases to indies, documentaries, and foreign films, to restored cinema classics. Look here for the Student Life Cinema schedule!
Explore Tallahassee nightlife, but keep a budget.
If you’re going out to the Tennessee Strip or College Avenue to enjoy Tallahassee’s nightlife, do some research into what bars and clubs are running drink specials and entrance deals. Many of the clubs offer early entrance deals that could get you in for free, or at least for less than the regular $20 cover. Following your favorite nightlife spots, like RedRocks, on social media can keep you informed on where the best drink deals are. Try finding a good weekly ladies night or trivia night, which are usually winners when it comes to drink specials.
Visit Bradley’s Country Store and attend Old Fashioned Fun Day.
If you want to stock up on snacks for your apartment or dorm, take a trip to Bradley’s Country Store. They are known for their homemade sausages, stone ground grits, jellies, and sauces. You can find them at 10655 Centerville Road, where they have been located for the past 90 years. The store is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been owned by the same family since 1927. Even if you don’t make a purchase, the store is something fun to see.
Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Bradley’s Country Store hosts Old Fashioned Fun Day. This annual event has been taking place since 1970! Parking and admission are free. Enjoy live music, clogging, cane grinding, syrup making, wagon rides, and a wide variety of food, arts, and crafts.
Bradley’s Country Store by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons
Take a scenic drive through Tallahassee’s Canopy Roads.
Tallahassee is a beautiful city in the Florida Panhandle where oak trees are common. There are multiple scenic roads in Tallahassee with moss-draped oak trees with limbs that stretch overhead to form a beautiful canopy. The scene is picturesque and makes for a very peaceful drive. There are nine official canopy roads that total approximately 78 miles. This PDF includes a map of all the scenic roads in Tallahassee.
Relax on the FSU Reservation.
Taking a little time to rest and recharge is critical for the health and wellness of students. Just four miles from Florida State University, there’s a gorgeous park called the FSU Reservation, also referred to as the “Rez.” The centerpiece of the Reservation is Lake Bradford, which is open for swimming, kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, and canoeing. Other park amenities include a ropes course, disc golf, a climbing wall, and volleyball courts. Admission is free for FSU students. There are fees for renting watercraft and equipment. The park is located at 3226 Flastacowo Road.
Check out Railroad Square Art Park.
Railroad Square Art Park, located at 602 McDonnell Drive, is a hub of artists and small businesses. The park contains over 50 studios, galleries, and shops that reside inside World War II-era warehouses. You can take a look around at any time, but the best time to visit is the first Friday of the month. Every month, Railroad Square hosts the First Friday Gallery Hop, where all of the galleries, shops, and businesses stay open late. Admission is free.
Play a sport at Tom Brown Park.
Tom Brown Park is a huge, 225-acre recreational area with dozens of amenities. At the park, you can play basketball, tennis, softball, and more. There are many lighted sports fields, biking trails, paved running paths, a dog park, and a children’s playground. If you want to enjoy a picnic at the park, there are also picnic tables and pavilions. The park is located at 501 Easterwood Drive.